Avid Editor's Insights

A story of Crazy Leftist attacking on Thanksgiving Part 2

Posted by avideditor on December 6, 2009

I was sent another story. To read the last one read part one . This is a sad but interesting story IMHO.

Prior to the Thanksgiving trip, I was given a warning from my uncle that conversations should be limited in political scope. He did not want things getting out of control since a few people at the table would be likely to get their hackles up over some issues.

I promised nothing.

It was a beautiful dinner. A 22lb turkey, more stuffing than could fit in the bird, tons of vegetables of all colors, and more starches than any group of people should be allowed to eat at one table at the same time. Grace was a round-robin of what we are thankful for. Politics were not brought up in Grace…we may be lifelong Mass residents, but Kennedy’s we are not!

Dinner was going good until my sister, the newly graduated doctor began talking about health risks of foods, meat (she’s vegetarian), and how people need to be more proactive to prevent cancer. Conversation slowly morphed in to preventative testing that doctors can do to make sure you are staying healthy. It was at this point that I unsurreptitiously asked my sister about her opinion on the government conveniently releasing a “study” by some of their “scientists” stating that mammograms don’t need to start at 40 any longer, but can begin at 50.

A hush fell over the table. Mashed potatoes were chewed a little more deliberately. My sister bravely gave her side. She believed that it was a great step. The government saved many women from unnecessary testing that costs money. It had found, through real science, that people could save money by curtailing preventative care…What??

The Thanksgiving diners chose sides and squared off. Conversation volumes increased and multiple parties (some of which shocked me) declared against healthcare rationing by big government and that no system that royally messed up the post office and medicare to the tune of 50billion lost every year to “unknown” sources could be trusted with 20% of US spending.

My sister was getting very flustered at this point and her voice took on that higher pitched slightly screechy tone that she gets when she feels like she is being attacked. Ironically, it was the lesbian daughter of my uncle that came to the rescue (who has become pleasantly conservative) in her no-nonsense quiet voice. She told my sister that she needed to “chill out” and stop taking everything personally. She told my sister that her view was fine and noble, but it didn’t make it correct Uncle’s daughter said that her studies (PhD student in sociology with a focus on women’s health) afforded her the same papers and that government has no authority over any body.

Conversation moved to unions. Both my father and my aunt are public school teachers in Massachusetts. My father is anti-union. My aunt is pro-union. This topic became awkard, as the older adults squared off. My father was one of the teachers who was asked to participate in the formation of a standardized test in MA that students needed to pass in order to graduate high school (MCAS). He fought tooth and nail to maintain classroom autonomy. The testing has since forced students to learned multiple choice tests for months on end before they take the test…in order to get more students to pass. Real teaching and self-learning has been viciously destroyed by this testing. My aunt disagreed and said that the testing weeds out children that “had yet to succeed”, which I think is double-think for “failed”.

Dessert was served with a side of quiet. We all had agreed to disagree, however, it was a huge change from the year before when conversation was solely about how Bush had been such a bad president and that hope and change was coming. Last year, conservatives were outnumbered. This year, some of the most unlikely liberals had grown spines of individuality and had leaned towards fiscal conservatism.

This Thanksgiving I was truly thankful that not all had been lost and that people can really change when it matters. The seeds of self-governance had been sown on Cape Cod, and that extra stuffing really spruced up the midnight sandwich party.”

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